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Prenuptial agreements are sometimes called ante nuptial agreements.  It makes sense to address them in the context in which they arise.  We are either talking about you having a prenup written today for a marriage yet to come (see Part II), or we are talking about a prenup that has already been signed that will come into play with a divorce (see Part I).

Part I:

You are getting divorced, and there is a prenup.  What the prenup says may or may not be binding.  I don’t care what lawyer wrote it, the hard truth is that the prenup is judged by the courts as to whether or not it is valid according to the law as it stands today, and not according to the law when the prenup was written.  Since no one has a crystal ball, that means any prenup may be wholly or partially invalid TODAY just because the law is different than it was YESTERDAY.  The law is always changing.  And by law, I am not just talking about the Florida Statutes.  For every Florida divorce statute, there are hundreds of cases that interpret, change, add to, or modify the statute.

The prenup needs to be reviewed by an attorney in light of the law as it exists right now.  So make sure you take what it says with a grain of salt.  What you are reading may or may not be binding.  It is important to have it reviewed as soon as possible so that you know your rights.  A prenup can be a huge part of a divorce case.  It can affect anything from alimony to marital debts to attorneys fees to marital assets to inheritances to real estate.  If you and your spouse have one, it is a big deal.  Contact us today for more information.

Part II:

You are going to get married and there will be a prenup.  The prenup needs to be legal now, and it needs to be legal if you ever get divorced.  The reason for this is because prenups are determined to be valid or invalid based on the law when you get divorced, and not based on the law when the prenup is signed.  So it is important to understand the trends in the law to help determine what terms should and should not be in the prenup to have the best chance it will be enforceable at some future, unknown date.

Prenuptial agreements can be powerful.  If you want one, it can help you and your future spouse decide today what will happen regarding alimony, real estate, marital assets, marital debts, use of the marital home, retirement accounts, pensions, and other areas.  But it must be done correctly to be valid.  Prenups cannot legally address the issues of child custody or child support.  Those issues must always be addressed at the time of divorce and must be in the best interests of the child according to the then-current law.

Timing matters when it comes to prenuptial agreements.  When the prenup is signed, and under what circumstances, can affect its validity.  It is important that you talk to an experienced family law attorney such as Mr. Radeline about this so that you know the important aspects of legal timing when it comes to prenups.

If your fiancé asks you to sign a prenup, you should absolutely have an attorney review the prenup BEFORE YOU SIGN IT.  Once you sign it, it may be too late!  You could inadvertently be signing something that could affect hundreds of thousands of dollars (or more!) of assets and debts well into the future.  Know your rights!  Whether you need a prenup drafted, or whether you need one reviewed that has been proposed to you, we can help.